Drone Hardware Sales, Q4 2020: 2 Surveys, 2 Different Stories

There are a lot of very significant drone business surveys, and a lot of very official forecasts for the drone industry.  The DRONELIFE Minute Survey makes no claim to be either – it’s a way for DRONELIFE to share some of the prevailing buzz that comes our way from readers on a variety of subjects, and for us to track changes over time on topics that we feel would be of interest to our readers and the industry. Recent surveys included pricing in the commercial drone space and the effect of the coronavirus on business at a point in time.

Uncertainty in the Industry

Pandemic, politics, new platforms, and evolving regulations – there is a lot of uncertainty and change for enterprises this year.  That uncertainty is only getting worse as the year draws to a close.  That uncertainty may have a negative effect on hardware sales this year.  We asked commercial pilots if they planned to invest in new drones before the end of this year.  In July, 54% of respondents said that they planned to purchase new drone hardware by the end of 2020: by October, that figure had dropped to 25%.

Here are the results of the two surveys, shown side by side:

This sampling is not a significant analysis – but it does indicate a shifting level of optimism in industry, which could show an impact on hardware sales in the final quarter of the year.   While business is booming for many sectors of the drone industry, some large enterprise customers that could drive big hardware sales may be waiting for a less tumultous time.

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